Cemetery Beach #2
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jason Howard
Issue #2 of Warren Ellis’ Cemetery Beach showcases more of the dystopian world introduced in the first issue. The corrupt rulers of the regressive space colony begin to plot against Michael, a scout from Earth. Meanwhile, the earthling himself manages to get a clearer image of what’s going on from the rebel Grace. All the while, they are still pursued by soldiers as they make their way to an apparent safe haven. There’s no drop off in quality between issues #1 and #2 of Cemetery Beach, as the story makes us aware of its great potential.
Like the previous issue, long verbose conversations break up the elaborate action sequences. Ellis’ writing is smart enough to sustain the former and Howard’s art is dynamic enough to keep the latter interesting. As a result, Cemetery Beach avoids the pacing and tonal issues that might stem from such a setup. Howard also proves his versatility as an artist in issue #2 by keeping the stretches of dialogue interesting through the framing and character designs. They keep the readers’ interest without drawing too much attention away from the story.
Cemetery Beach Issue #2 showcases more of the book’s setting and makes it more unique. Aesthetically it lends historical elements a more sci-fi flavor. Howard blends them well enough that it doesn’t feel tacked on. We still haven’t seen how the regular people of Cemetery Beach’s world live. For now, it’s just been authorities and rebels. The book provides an impression of their nightmare existence only through the dialogue. Despite that, it will be exciting to see how Howard and Ellis render their world. The book will certainly benefit from a more mundane perspective if only to affirm just how distant Cemetery Beach is from our reality.
Cemetery Beach does suffer from a little too much showing and not enough telling. Ellis manages to make it work within the context of the story. Nonetheless, certain elements, particularly the world building, suffer from it. It does at least put the reader in Mike’s position. He strayed so far from his mission that only questionable, second-hand information is available. Cemetery Beach Issue #2 ends with an even bigger cliffhanger than the last issue. Hopefully, it’ll lead to a more in-depth look at an already compelling setting.
Cemetery Beach #2
Cemetery Beach continues from its promising start but needs to start delivering.